JCC Help Me Decide on a Budget Laptop

Discussion in 'Community' started by Valyn, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

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    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    What version of Firefox was on it, and is it a version they say is compatible with Win 8? Also, did you have any Firefox extensions (like Ad Blocker) that might have issues with Win 8? If you haven't done the reset yet you might try disabling all your extensions and run Firefox on its own to see if that makes a difference. If it does, re-enable each extension one at a time to see which one causes the problems.
    Last edited by LAJ_FETT, Dec 31, 2012
  2. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    I had downloaded the latest version of Firefox (which should be compatible with Windows 8). I had read that I should disable the hardware accelerator feature in Firefox, so I tried that, too. No crashes since...hopefully.

    I am a bit concerned about the router thing, though.
  3. Kyle Katarn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 1998
    star 6
    What's the make/model of your router? Have you checked the manufacturer's site for any known Win8 compatibility issues? Wifi protocols are fairly standard regardless of OS, although if that router is 8 years old then that could be a sign of problems with the router itself and not just the single computer, have you had any other issues with wifi connectivity on other computers or just that one?
  4. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
  5. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    The router is a Linksys. Don't really have the model number atm. No other device is having such consistent problems with the Internet connectivity. However, now that I think of it, once a week or so I have to reset the router due to no connectivity across all devices.
  6. Juliet316 Streak for Colors Tiemaster

    Game Winner
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    Apr 27, 2005
    star 8
    Before we switched to our current Cable/Internet provider, our house's wireless router was a linksys. It was a couple of years old and the signal really started degrading this summer after several new devices were introduced onto and intruder devices tried to piggyback on the connection. I would say get a new router and see if that does the trick.
  7. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    I haven't been in the router market for a long, long time. Everything is so different and scary now. [face_worried]

    I have to get a router that's compatible with Windows 8, excels at HD video streaming, and can easily handle online gaming.

    Back in my day, a router just had to get a computer online wirelessly.


    I've checked CNET for their top-rated routers, and all of them are about $150-200, but they all excel at HD video streaming, gaming, etc.

    I imagine a cheap $30 router may no longer cut it for today's wireless demands?
  8. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Jul 10, 2004
    star 6
    Wireless speeds are standard across all routers. I have a $50 one that can do all that no problems. A lot of it depends on the chip set and drivers, but I know nothing about Windows 8 at all.
  9. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I don't understand how a modern computer could have wireless connectivity problems. I have used a bunch of devices over wi-fi and the only time I had a problem since 2008 was when the router went kaput.
  10. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    The only issues I've ever had has been dropouts on a poor line and physical problems (lots of brick walls, for example). It really is a strange problem that the laptop is having.
  11. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    Maybe toshiba is lying to me? I'll find out when my father in law gets the windows 8 hp notebook we got him for his bday. If he has problems, then the router theory may have merit.
    Last edited by JoinTheSchwarz, Jan 2, 2013
  12. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
  13. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 10
  14. Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films

    Moderator
    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 6
    Replaced my Toshiba for a Lenovo - best darn laptop keyboard there is and worth paying for!
  15. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    what's the difference between the keyboards?
  16. Kyle Katarn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 1998
    star 6
    I would suggest first updating the router's firmware. If you don't know how to do it then check out the documentation for your router - the model number should be on a label which is usually on the back or underside of the router. That said, it is possible the router could be on it's last legs, electronic devices age just like everything else and errors can creep in over time or things will just simply not work the way they once did. If everything you can do with your router is done and your connectivity issue persists (I would also suggest bypassing the router and plugging the computer directly into your modem to see if that fixes the connectivity problem) then you may need to buy a new router. Compatability with Win8 shouldn't be too big of an issue, neither should gaming or video streaming. My only advice would be to use something other than the default security settings and read over the documentation carefully so you understand what it is that you have.
    Valyn likes this.
  17. kainee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 1
    Just to add on here with the router issue. The connectivity issue shouldn't have anything to do with your OS unless it is something to do with the driver for your wifi card on your laptop, since with a new OS that has only been out for a relatively short amount of time, some devices might not technically have drivers that were written specifically for the OS (I remember when Windows 7 came out that there were some issues with Bluetooth drivers and when x64 systems came out, there was a dearth of compatible device drivers for a while). If you are noticing this issue of the connection dropping across all devices, regardless of OS type, then chances are good that it IS the router. In that case, I would definitely recommend upgrading the firmware (Linksys is good about making available their firmware along with instructions on how to tell which firmware version you get is correct). Also, make sure there isn't anything that might be causing interference with the wireless connection. This is not an issue when it comes to a wired connection but certain standards of wifi uses a certain frequency that other devices can interfere with such as wireless phones, microwaves, and other devices with strong EMF or RF. The age of your router could also mean that it's using an outdated protocol limiting the speed and hence causing a bottleneck the more wireless devices you connect to it. Or else, it very well could be that the electronic components inside your router simply have degraded over time.

    If you find that you need to get a new router and you just want to make sure it works at the fastest possible speeds, then you'll need to make sure you get the router that supports the latest standard. For an overview, you can visit this Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11. Chances are, the more types a router supports, the more expensive it'll be. The price also increases, the more connections are allowed so you'll also need to consider how many hard wired connections you want to be able to support. The latest and usually fastest wifi standard is IEEE 802.11n though if you need to know. You should also consider password protecting your wifi access if you haven't done so to prevent anyone piggybacking on it and using all your bandwidth.

    Also, a tip to help you with economizing on your laptop in the future (if you don't need it for now), go for a laptop where the RAM isn't that much but is upgradeable in the future. It's actually cheaper for you to get a laptop for its CPU speed and then upgrade its RAM and hard drives to faster speeds and larger sizes later on, as it's the RAM and hard drive that computer manufacturers make the most profit on. This is also a valid tip for most Macs that allow for DIY upgrades as long as you are comfortable with possibly breaking warranty on the Mac since Apple is rather strict with DIYers. Personally, I prefer Asus and Lenovo for laptops, as those are the laptop brands I have the most experience with. For netbooks, I wouldn't really recommend them as depending on how they're set up, you can end up feeling screwed over if you suffer a major system crash and need to reboot everything. Since netbooks don't have optical drives, you can't really use a Windows installation CD/DVD or use a floppy disk to do a system recover. It might be possible to do something with an USB drive if there's a USB drive but some budget Netbooks don't even have that either.

    Sorry for my random blurb 1+ month after the fact but I just saw this thread and had to add my two cents.
    Valyn likes this.
  18. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 8
  19. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
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    Aug 19, 2003
    star 8
    You should consider a lower priced rehab laptop and then invest the rest of your budget in renovations...
    [IMG][IMG]
  20. Kyle Katarn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 1998
    star 6
    The thought also occurred to me - do you have any cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, or anything else that emits RF signals, specifically in or around the 2.4 GHz range? When I worked for an ISP it was one of the more common issues our support reps would run into with customers who'd complain about poor wifi connectivity. Most folks with these issues just did the bare minimum in setting up their network (changed the SSID and network key) and wouldn't take advantage of the other features on their router to avoid interference from other RF signals.
  21. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    There's a baby monitor in the same room as the router, but it's only on at night when we're all going to bed (and thereby not really interfering with my Internet usage).

    Anyway, I haven't yet reset to factory settings. I've been using Chrome instead of Firefox and haven't had any issues since. Regarding the router, I'll be looking into a firmware update on my next day off. Today, being January 1st, was my daughter's second birthday, so computer stuff had to be put aside. :p

    We really should probably start up another Computer Help Thread.
  22. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

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    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    Or just rename this thread.
  23. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 6
    Or just move the computer help thread back in here.